Aussie rules as Antipodean teams dominate Peking to Paris Rally

| 7 Jun 2013

Two Australian teams are locked in a battle for the lead as the Paris to Peking Rally enters its 11th day.

Having faced floods in Peking, desert storms in Mongolia and a distance of more 3500km, just four minutes separate the top two.

As the rally enters Russia, the 1974 Citroën DS23 of Robbie Sherrard and Peter Washington is in hot pursuit of new leaders – Gerry Crown and Matt Bryson in their 1973 Leyland P76.

The third-placed pairing of Peter Lovett and Tim Smith in a 1965 Porsche 911 trail by 16 minutes but, with only six cars already ruled out of the gruelling enduro, there’s still plenty to play for.

It’s all change in the Vintageants group for 1932-’41 cars, with the class’ early leader – a 1940 Ford V8 Coupe – forced down the pack after mechanical problems.

The 1937 Chevy Fangio Coupe of Brits Phil Garratt and Kieron Brown has taken over up front.

Four-wheeled casualties to date include the 1969 VW Beetle of Garrick Staples and Hayden Burvill, which rolled after hitting a gully at speed, while the 1927 Vauxhall 14/40 of Belgians Jan De Clerck and Jan Imschoot retired with ‘major mechanical issues’.

The longest stage of the trip is still to come – the 668km from Novosibirsk to Omsk – and the event is scheduled to finish in France on 29 June.

Keep up to date with the action on the event’s website.

C&SC says: We can’t think of a better way to spend 33 days and there’s only one car we would choose to do it in: